Recently, I wrote about a torrent searching utility for Mac OS X, a program called Fire, that in all honesty didn’t impress me very much. It’s a nice utility, and shows a lot of promise, but at the moment it doesn’t really deliver on that promise.
So I was happy today to see a listing for another Mac program, this one called TorrentDam, that offers a lot of the same functionality, in a much smaller package. And in this case, I think Torrent Dam, while still having room to improve, performs much better, at least for me.
TorrentDam is a bittorrent search engine tool. It isn’t a search engine itself; it doesn’t in and of itself keep track of bittorrent files. And why would it need to? There are dozens of bittorrent trackers all over the Internet, and all doing a pretty good job.
No, what TorrentDam does is allow you, with very little effort, to search a bunch of bittorrent trackers all at once.
Which trackers? Like Fire, TorrentDam has a fairly good, fairly large selection of trackers to choose from. Among them are the big players in the torrent downloading field:
The Pirate Bay
So, with just TorrentDam, you can search all of those torrent search engines (or just the one(s) you prefer), all at once.
To use TorrentDam, just start it up. You’ll see a little window for you to input your search terms. Below that is a little sidebar that shows each of the search engines. By default, all are checked. To use the ones you want, simply de-select the ones you have no interest in.
Then, type your search query into the Search For box and hit Search.
Unlike Fire, which shows you the actual search site in its own window (but doesn’t allow you to actually download any torrent files at the moment), TorrentDam isn’t so ambitious. What it does instead (a plan that works better, in my view), is to open up your default web browser (one window or tab per search engine you searched), to the search results page.
From there you can look at each torrent listing individually, and download what you want.
And that’s it; that’s how TorrentDam works. In my view it has a couple advantages to Fire. First is that you can, by using TorrentDam, actually download the individual torrent files. While this will surely be added to Fire at some point, it so far doesn’t include this capability.
Second, TorrentDam allows you to search multiple search engines at once. While Fire does allow you to search multiple torrent search engines, it can only do so one search engine at a time. Big win here for TorrentDam.
So, if you use bittorrent as your main way of downloading files from the Internet, and use any or all of the mentioned search engines, then I’d definitely recommend TorrentDam as your search tool. Sure, you can do everything TorrentDam does with a simple web browser and a few bookmarks, but in my view TorrentDam does it just as well, and is faster.